Last week, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of C$353,432 (US$257,849) under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF) to La Fromagerie Nouvelle France, a cheese processor in Racine, Québec, following a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the company on June 23, 2020.
This week, Québec’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne, announced financial assistance of C$150,000 (US$110,000) to Fromagerie L'Ancêtre, from Bécancour, for its project to purchase conditioning and packaging equipment.
The province also announced C$50,000 (US$36,500) in funding to the Conseil des industriels laitiers du Québec (CILQ – Quebec Dairy Council) dairy organization to assist in the production of a mobile app promoting a Québec cheese route.
Fromagerie Nouvelle France
The investment in Fromagerie Nouvelle France will allow the company to transfer its processing operations of sheep, goat and cow milk from a rental property into its own facility. The funding will also enable the company to purchase and install new cheese and yogurt manufacturing equipment, including a controlled ripening chamber, pasteurization tank, automated manufacturing tank and cheese press.
The project is expected to increase the use of Canadian cow, goat and sheep milk, increase cheese and yogurt production, reduce production costs, while maintaining jobs in the community.
La Fromagerie Nouvelle France was founded in 2010. It specializes in the production of fine cheeses and yogurts from sheep's milk and cow's milk.
DPIF was designed to help the sector increase productivity and competitiveness, and help them prepare for market changes resulting from the Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
“The construction of a new cheese factory here in Racine is excellent news for the region. This means more opportunities for our dairy producers and more of your excellent cheeses for consumers from near and far. I am proud that our government has contributed to this initiative, because it is exactly what we want for our regions. I would like to congratulate the whole Fromagerie Nouvelle France team for 10 years of growth and wish you many more decades of innovation and discoveries,” Bibeau said.
Marie-Chantal Houde, cheesemaker and co-owner of Fromagerie Nouvelle France, said, “I am very grateful to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for recognizing the potential of our team over the past 10 years. The "Buy Local" concept is also part of the commitment of our government to small artisans like us. Sheep milk production represents a significant and growing niche. It is our identity and our artisanal know-how that shines throughout the country.”
The provincial funding for Fromagerie L'Ancêtre will be used to purchase automated packaging equipment that will allow the range of formats and the quantities produced by the cheese company to be increased.
The new equipment will improve hygiene, reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity, the government said.
The investment will also have positive spin-offs in the Center-du-Québec region by promoting local purchasing, since Fromagerie L'Ancêtre purchases raw materials from suppliers in the area. The move is also expected to create six new jobs.
The smartphone app will allow users to view, using an interactive map, the cheese factories participating in the project.
Consumers will be able to create personalized journeys or use the app to discover the food along the route.
Companies will be able to display their company profile, as well as information about their products. The technology will use geolocation, so users of the app will receive notifications when they are close to one of the cheese producers’ facilities. They can also receive alerts about events.
Currently, Québec has 113 cheese producers in the province, and produces about half of Canadian cheese.
The CILQ includes 97% of the manufacturers of dairy products carrying out milk processing activities in Québec. CILQ members own 96 factories in most regions of the province.